Arsenal have a straight choice between maintaining their Premier League title push or trying to salvage pride in the Champions League, according to former Gunners manager George Graham.
Arsene Wenger’s men had their hopes of European glory mercilessly dashed at the Emirates as they went down 2-0 to Bayern Munich, and must face the away leg without Wojciech Szczesny after the keeper was red carded whilst giving away a penalty.
Graham insists Wenger should get his priorities straight as the challenge of sustaining a title race alongside a prolonged stint in Europe appears increasingly impossible.
The Scot – in charge of Arsenal between 1986 and 1995 – told The Daily Mail that the task of overhauling the deficit in Bayern was now “impossible”, and that Wenger should not be afraid to make the “big decisions”.
However, the Professor should not be blamed for thinking his side can still rescue the tie, after their 2-0 victory in the same fixture last season, against all odds.
A close examination of Arsenal’s squad, however, proves Graham’s wishes to be naïve. It is a squad nowhere near strong enough to rest its stars in Germany without risking utter humiliation at the hands of the European champions.
This same problem, though, means Wenger is putting his main men under unbearable strain and this has taken its toll in recent weeks as Chelsea and Manchester City have raced ahead.
If Wenger is to avoid becoming that most feared title of Premier League managers – a Mourinho-dubbed “specialist in failure” – and land the Gunners’ their first title since 2004, their abortive Champions League campaign may have to be sacrificed, even if it means Arsenal go out with a whimper.
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